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Education officials meet over school reopening

First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni

First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni (PHOTO /Courtesy)

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Education has called for a stakeholders’ virtual consultative meeting on the government’s plan for a possible reopening of schools for the completion of academic year 2020.

In a letter dated Friday, August 27, 2021, Ms. Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education says the virtual meeting is scheduled to take place on Monday, August 30 starting 2:00 pm.

“The purpose of this communication, therefore, is to invite you to a stakeholders’ consultative meeting on the government’s proposals for the safe reopening of education institutions for completion of education of the academic year 2020 and progression of learners to the next level,” the education PS Lamaro wrote.

While addressing the country on Friday, July 30, President Museveni indicated that education institutions will be reopened when all teachers and certain categories of learners have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Ms. Lamaro says the Ministry of Education has been working collaboratively to ensure that teachers are vaccinated as well as planning for a safe reopening of education institutions.

In March 2020, amidst the fear of the Covid-19 pandemic that was devastating most of the developed world and spreading fast into Africa, President Museveni imposed a total lockdown that saw all education institutions closed immediately.

The decision sent home 15.1 million school-going children at all levels, and for the majority, the status quo has remained for public schools, 18 months later; with pre-primary pupils and those in primary one to three, having not had any form of learning during that period.

President Museveni then floated a proposal to buy radio and television sets to help in learning during the lockdown but this fell through after parliament failed to appropriate money for these items.

Apparently, Uganda has two sets of students in form one and form five classes at secondary school, and no candidate classes.

In her draft plan to the education committee, First Lady and Education minister Janet Museveni proposes automatic promotion for these students, a proposal educationists say is not tenable as it will create a generation with knowledge gaps.

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